"I am winding down Irrational Games as you know it. I'll be starting a smaller, more entrepreneurial endeavor at Take-Two. That is going to mean parting ways with all but about fifteen members of the Irrational team," Levine wrote. "There's no great way to lay people off, and our first concern is to make sure that the people who are leaving have as much support as we can give them during this transition."
Levine says that current staff will "have access to the studio for a period of time to say their goodbyes and put together their portfolios," and that other Take-Two studios will be available to "discuss opportunities within the company." Third-party developers and publishers will be able to participate in a "recruiting day" hosted by Irrational Games, offering outgoing employees interviews for other positions.
Irrational's goal moving forward is "to make narrative-driven games for the core gamer that are highly replayable." Additionally, Levine says the developer will move into the digital space exclusively to "foster the most direct relationship with our fans possible."
Irrational's latest game is BioShock Infinite, which will receive its Burial At Sea Episode 2 DLC on March 25. Levine says that while he's "handing the reins of our creation, the BioShock universe, to 2K so our new venture can focus entirely on replayable narrative," he's hoping the developer will "build something half as memorable as BioShock."
Update: 2K reached out to Joystiq with the following statement: "BioShock is one of our most beloved and critically acclaimed franchises, and we are indebted to Ken and the talented team at Irrational Games for their contributions to the series with BioShock and BioShock Infinite; the latter being one of the most decorated games of 2013. The BioShock universe remains a rich creative canvas for many untold stories, and we look forward to exploring the next BioShock experience."